UK consumer confidence rose in March as the vaccine roll-out and the government's plan to end lockdown raised spirits, a survey showed.
Banks and life insurers lent their heft to the advance in London's top-tier index as government bond yields on both sides of the Atlantic climbed higher.
Europe's drugs regulator reiterated that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is "safe and effective".
Germany's DAX hit a record high on Thursday as European shares gained broadly on the back of a US Federal Reserve pledge to keep interest rates low.
Harworth Group said on Thursday that chief executive Lynda Shillaw had acquired 40,029 ordinary shares in the London-listed property developer.
The market spotlight at the end of the week will continue to be on the UK, barring surprises.
London stocks finished just above the waterline on Thursday, after the Bank of England said it was nowhere near being ready to raise interest rates.
Cloud and managed communication services provider Maintel has conditionally agreed to sell its managed print services business unit to Corona Corporate Group (CCS), it announced on Thursday, for £4. 5m in cash.
Deutsche Bank upped its recommendation on shares of Standard Life Aberdeen on Thursday to 'buy' from 'hold' and lifted the price target to 335. 0p from 310. 0p.
London’s FTSE 250 was up 0. 1% at 21,575. 78 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
The pandemic gutted Gym Group's finances in 2020, resulting in a near halving in profits and forcing it to draw heavily from its financing facilities.
Wall Street stocks were mixed early on Thursday as the 10-year Treasury yield soared to a 14-month high and fuelled another tech sell-off.
London’s FTSE 100 was up 0. 2% at 6,773. 28 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Exploration and development company Ariana Resources announced the start of diamond drilling on the Magellan Project in Cyprus on Thursday, via its earn-in on Venus Minerals.
Campaigners have called on the government and Financial Conduct Authority to block a rescue plan for Amigo they say would enrich its directors while denying poor borrowers up to £1bn of compensation, according to a report.
Berenberg cut its price target for London Stock Exchange's shares but said the recent drop in the group's share price was a buying opportunity.
Analysts at Berenberg raised their target price on manufacturing firm Senior from 85. 0p to 112. 0p on Thursday but cautioned that the group's profit outlook remained "unclear".
Specialty non-life insurance company Randall & Quilter has agreed to increase its stake in New York-based managing general agent Tradesman Program Managers to 40%, it announced on Thursday, from 35%.
Initial US jobless claims jumped unexpectedly during the previous week while secondary claims, which track hiring conditions, were roughly flat.
UBS downgraded its stance on shares of Persimmon and Crest Nicholson on Thursday as it took a look at the UK housebuilding sector.
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